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The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance

No 690:
Lady and the Trump: Status and Wealth in the Marriage Market

Johan Almenberg () and Anna Dreber ()

Abstract: We examine a relatively neglected aspect of intergenerational transmission of economic standing, namely culturally determined status markers and their valuation in the marriage market. We take nobility to be such a status marker. Using data on Swedish marriages, we test the hypothesis that nobility have a greater probability of marrying "up" in terms of wealth. We find a large and statistically significant positive effect for nobility. This finding has important implications for the intergenerational transmission of inequality, and for the longevity of the institution of nobility itself.

Keywords: Marriage; Status; Intergenerational Transmission; Nobility; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: J11; J12; (follow links to similar papers)

28 pages, January 12, 2008, Revised December 4, 2008

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